What You Do Now Matters: College Preparation
College preparation begins in middle school
If we sow the seeds of learning today, then we will reap the fruits of achievement tomorrow. The road to academic success begins long before your child enters the classroom.
From birth to age 5, the brain develops more than at any other time in life. They say these years are the most important because children who are prepared for kindergarten do well in school. However, it’s those formative years between middle school and high school that are significant in achieving true college success. Developing valuable study skills and work habits in middle school sets the tone for good practices in high school.
While most students want to attend college, they aren’t as prepared as they think they should be. According to a survey released by Harris Interactive, 92% of seventh- and eighth-graders said they were likely to attend college, yet 68% said they had little or no information about which classes to take to prepare for it.
It’s never too early to begin planning for college, here are a few ways to jumpstart the process now:
Start the conversation early. Find out what your child likes and discuss college majors that reflect their interests. Take a few campus tours and explore possible future careers together.
Communication is key. Check in with the school regularly regarding your child’s academic performance. Identify strengths, weaknesses, and any challenges that may need extra attention.
Choose the right courses. Take the classes in middle school that will prepare you for the upper-level courses in high school. Challenge yourself further by learning a second language.
Read and expand your vocabulary. In addition to strengthening verbal, writing and critical thinking skills, reading is the best way to prepare for the SAT and ACT.
Participate in extracurricular activities. Middle school is a good time to explore different activities, which helps develop leadership and personal growth.
Research college prep programs. Take advantage of all the enrichment opportunities your city has to offer, like NYU’s STEP/BEST pre-college programs which ensures our Black and Brown students are prepared to take the next step toward college and career.
These are just some of the many ways you can get ahead of the planning. Check back for more college preparation tips in the coming months, and remember, the things you do today position you for the future. What you plant now, you will harvest later. You may not see the fruit of today’s work but know you have seeded a lifetime of knowledge. So, let’s get to seeding!